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Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Apr 15

Written by:
4/15/2008 9:27 AM  RssIcon

Holophone, a leading manufacturer of surround microphones, is introducing its latest breakthrough in surround recording technology, the PortaMic 5.1 camera-mountable surround microphone at NAB 2008 (Booth N6438, N6435).


Continuing in the tradition of the company‘s H4 SuperMINI, the PortaMic 5.1 offers professional-grade discrete 5.1 audio quality and ease of use at a price that fits into any production budget - the mic retails for $599. Its portability and sonic fidelity make it ideal for all audio and video applications including in-studio, field recording, documentary and ENG. Like the H4 SuperMINI, the PortaMic features a 2.5 inch (6cm) x 1.5 inch (3.5 cm) mic head with six separate mic elements arranged to correspond with the typical 5.1 speaker setup in a studio or home theater. This patented design allows users to easily capture, from a single point source, a discrete surround recording that gives listeners the experience of sitting in the best seat in the house. When combined with video, program material instantly becomes more realistic, immersive and three-dimensional.


Measuring only one inch high, the PortaMic‘s encoder, equipped with Dolby Laboratories‘ Dolby® Pro Logic II® encoding technology, provides a low profile when connected to the camera, offering an uninterrupted sightline. The encoder allows the mic‘s six audio channels to be encoded down to two channels, so it can be recorded to any broadcast camera or stereo recording device. The Surround encoded audio is output to both a stereo mini plug and six-pin balanced mini XLR. To ensure a quality recording even in loud environments, the mic features a unity gain control and a 12-db pad.


“Up until now surround recording technologies were unfortunately out of reach for some projects due to budgetary constraints,” says Holophone CEO Jonathan Godfrey. “With the PortaMic 5.1, users have the ability to add that wow factor to their productions by capturing discrete and instantaneous 5.1 channels of audio without having to sacrifice their budget. It is also extremely simple to use.”


For an easy transition from the field to post, the encoded recordings of the PortaMic 5.1 can be converted back to six channels using the company‘s new D-CODE multi-channel decoder or Dolby Pro Logic II Decoder. Additionally, the PortaMic 5.1 is fully compatible with the installed base of approximately 60 million Dolby Pro Logic II consumer decoders, allowing the PortaMic‘s recordings to be broadcast in stereo and decoded to surround in viewers‘ living rooms. For alternate setup options, additional accessories such as boom handles and pistol grips are also offered. The mic and encoder are powered by one 9-volt battery.


About Holophone

Holophone is committed to developing and commercializing products that use patented 3-D audio technology to bring the physical experience of “really being there” to a new level for all audio and visual productions by professionals and hobbyists. Holophone provides customers and business partners with industry-leading product and service quality. Holophone is firmly dedicated to providing outstanding value, excellence in service, and product performance.


Holophone® surround-sound microphones are patented audio recording devices designed specifically to address the challenges audio professionals face in capturing, recording and broadcasting multichannel surround sound. Developed by Rising Sun Productions in Toronto, Canada, Holophone systems effortlessly capture discrete signals that are ultra-realistic and provide the most accurate spatiality, audio imaging, and directionality of any recording device. Entirely compatible with all audio mixing, encoding, and playback systems, Holophone also enhances mono and stereo mixes. Holophone systems provide the perfect front end for all professional and consumer audio applications including HDTV broadcasting, standard broadcasting of live sporting and music events, feature film location recording, and studio recording for music, films, and worship applications. Holophone surround sound technology has been used for numerous national and international broadcasts, including the Grammy Awards and NFL Super Bowl. As a scalable system, Holophone technology is also available for license to the consumer electronics industry.

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